Is a Ridge Vent Better than Roof Vents?

Is a Ridge Vent Better than Roof Vents?

Many roofing components may seem comparable but each of them has their own set of benefits and downfalls. In this article, we will answer the question “Is a Ridge Vent Better then Roof Vents?”

Continuous ridge vents (ridge vents) and roof vents are divided by a few distinct differences. Determining which one is best for your roof will depend a number of factors including your roof type and roof pitch, and the weather in your area.

Keep reading and we will explain a few of the factors that need to be figured in when choosing which type of roof vent type to go with, so that you can make an educated decision about your project, in the event that you attempt to install the vent on your own.

To get professional help to assess which type is better for your roof, just call us at (651)703-2336 or click the button below to schedule a free assessment.

Is a Ridge Vent Better than Roof Vents? - What to Watch For

Roof vents are probably the last thing that most homeowners worry about. However, there are a coupled of very important issues with your attic ventilation that could be fixed by adding the right style of roof ridge vents or roof vents to your roofing system design.

Proper attic ventilation helps to keep the attic cool in the summer and prevent moisture buildup during the winter. These are very important benefits, because they can prolong the roof of your home, and prevent problems like moisture damage, rust, overheating, mold, mildew, and bacteria buildup in your attic, and your home.


Here’s a quick tutorial on the evolution of attic ventilation in homes that should give you a better understanding of the topic:


Back when dwellings were designed without walk-up attic spaces, it was common to install louvered roof vents into gables at the end of the attic on each side of the home. Before then, ventilation in attics came in the form of windows that could be opened and closed to allow ventilation.

Gable vents served the purposes of attic ventilation quite well, but in areas with a lot of snow, the snow tends to enter between the louvers and get into the attic, causing moisture problems, rust, and other problems associated with moisture buildup. 

Additionally, the screen portions attached on the inside part of the louver vents often would deteriorate with time, giving easy access insects, small birds, and rodents that could then climb into the attic through the holes.

Nowadays we have smaller attic spaces with less accessible stand-up space. This caused problems at first because heat leaving from the warm areas of the house would get trapped in the attic, melting the snow on the roof, and causing erratic temperature changes which lead to ice damming. 

After building code changes started requiring more insulation, the addition of soffit vents became popular. The tendency was to add them along with existent roof or gable vents. With additional roof or gable vents and correctly placed soffit vents, attics could be cooled by a consistent flow of air from the soffits up and then out the upper part of the roof. This worked to cool the home in summer months and keep attic free of ice-damming and moisture issues in the winter.

Now that more advances methods are available for ventilating the attic, like roof ridge vents and roof vents, there are just a couple factors to watch out for.

Here are some general tips for attic vent installation:

Private: Is a Ridge Vent Better than Roof Vents? - A Picture of the Two Vent Styles and Words In Blue with Black Shadow

Tips to Help Determine Which Roof Vents to Use

There are a few factors and requirements that have to be met, and a couple of precautions that we want to point out before you can choose which type of roof vents are the best for your project. If you read through the tips section below, this information should help you make an educated decision. If you have any questions after reading this article, please don’t hesitate to call us or click any of the buttons on our website to get a free assessment from our of our expert roofers!


Tips to Help Determine Which Roof Vents to Use

Choose Only One Type of Vent

Roof vents or ridge vents and louvered gable vents should not be installed together. The combination of roof venting tends to render the soffit vents useless, since air flow comes in through the louver vents and out through the roof vents, bypassing the soffit vents altogether and creating a pocket of air exchange instead of even air exchange throughout the attic.

Be Sure to Achieve Proper Attic Ventilation

1 inch of clear vent space is required for every 150 square feet of attic floor space that you have. (only one square foot of ventilation for every 300 sf when the ridge vent system is used.)

Adequate Airflow Is Achieved By Strategic Vent Placement

The accumulative vent area need to be divided equally between soffit and roof ridge vents or roof vents. On roofs with a very low roof pitch, (nearly flat) additional venting could be required. In some cases, a mechanical fan could be required to provide adequate air flow.

Proper Installation is Essential to Function

Roof ridge vents tend to be more effective than box vents, when installed correctly. This is because they are installed on the roof's peak, which allows warm air to have an escape route from the attic. Roof ridge vents also work better when properly installed because they create a vacuum. 

Improper Roof Ridge Vent Installation Can Cause Problems

In many cases, roof ridge vents are not be installed correctly. A continuous space between the the very top of the ridge (the ridge pole) and a cur on either side two to three inches down is required. If the gap is not cut down far enough, inadequate air exchange will become a problem, making the vents useless.

Certain Vent Types May Not Be Suitable for Colder Climates!

In colder climates, roof ridge vent can be covered with snow, causing the ridge vent to not function properly. Therefore, if you are in an area with lots of snow, like here in Minnesota, box vents may be a better way to go.

Is a Ridge Vent Better than Roof Vents? - Final Thoughts

In the end, if you are unsure of what types of roof vents would be best for your roofing project, it’s always better to ask a professional. Our expert roofers can easily determine which type of roof vents would be best for your project, which could end up saving you money in the long run, and avoid more costly problems later on down the road that could stem from improper ventilation.

If you would like the help of one of our professional roof inspectors, call us at (651)703-2336 or click the blue button below to schedule a convenient time to meet with us! We would love to discuss your roof ventilation project with you!

We hope that this post has helped answer your question, “Is a Ridge Vent Better than Roof Vents?”

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Sellers Roofing Company serves the complete roofing needs of customers throughout New Brighton, Roseville and all of Minnesota. We’re available for inspections, repairs, roofing installations and insurance claims, with the experience to work on roofs of all sizes and types. We provide upfront estimates, quality workmanship and great guarantees! We’re happy to work with any insurance company to help you file your claim and always work hard to expedite work so you have a safe, secure roof over your head.

Contact us today by calling (651)703-2336 or fill out the form on our website today.

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